Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world my beautiful, vulnerable self!

Posts tagged ‘Economic impact’

You’re Beautiful at Every Age

Beautiful Comes From the Inside

Nothing makes me crazier than to see commercials telling people the normal signs of age make them ugly. Whether it’s a thickening mid-section, lines around the eyes, or skin that’s no longer as resilient as it once was, the makers of so-called beauty products do everything in their power to convince you those things are unattractive and need to be fixed.

Because of the barrage of advertisers telling you you’re essentially broken, you’ve probably either had your self-confidence taken down for the count almost daily; in which case you’re spending thousands of dollars on products meant to fix what was never broken in the first place, or you’ve given them all the middle finger.

Sadly, too few of you have told those companies and ad agencies to pound sand, which, if you ask me is the kindest thing they deserve to hear. I’d like to see an increasing number of women (and now, those companies are targeting men too!) say: “I’m perfect the way I am! I earned those gray hairs; the laugh lines around my mouth and eyes; the creases on my forehead. I’ve lived my life to the fullest instead of spending hours in front of a mirror looking for imaginary flaws!”

You Can’t Turn Back the Clock

Since when was it necessary to spend hours every day trying to look like you did or 20 years ago? What’s wrong with the way you look now? Chances are, you aren’t in the public eye, or trying to get ahead on your looks alone. You have so much more going for you. You’re smart, and you’re beautiful but not a superficial beauty dependent on creams, salves, and fancy exercise bikes. Your beauty shines from within.

It’s in the people you touch, the things you care about, and your social consciousness. Your beauty shines in the children you’ve raised, or otherwise influenced. You shine brightly in the examples you’ve set, glowing like starlight, unmarred by the passage of time because your glow comes from deep within; from your essence; your soul.

Let’s Stop Validating Greed and False Promises

Yet every time one of those so-called beauty products leaves the shelf to go home with someone who is already perfect the way they are, the pronouncements of the advertisers are validated. With each validation via product sale, they’re inspired to find more things wrong with you they can promise to fix.

The trouble is, the creams, lotions, wraps, machines, and programs are never enough. There will always be imperfections to magnify and ridicule. Who came up with awful terms like “muffin tops”, “saddle bags”, or “camel toe” anyway? Certainly nobody’s friend!

I’m not trying to deny people an honest living, but when was tearing people down over made up imperfections an honest living? It’s time to take back your right to age; to live your life squeezing every ounce of joy from it. When it shows on your face, your body, your hair, your skin, rejoice!

Loving Who, When, and Where You Are

You’re not wasting precious moments trying to reverse the natural aging Created with Canvaprocess. You’re showing gratitude for the opportunity to age by appreciating the changes. You’re enjoying the sunshine with friends and family, unconcerned about the lines it might be etching in your face.

Or you’re sprawled on the living room floor on a Friday night playing games and eating pizza. It’s nobody’s business what you choose to eat; healthy or junk. You make your choices and live with them. The criticizers can go look in their own mirror for a change. It’s time they dragged the skeletons out of their own closets, and left yours alone!

Tearing You Down to Build Themselves Up

The Tower from the Spiral TarotI have a theory about those companies anyway. They’re run by people who, themselves have terrible self-images. They’re never happy with the way they look, how much money they have, or how much stuff they acquire. They think having a successful company that makes money by tearing other people down will make them happy.

I’ve got news for them. All the money, all the beauty treatments, all the stuff in the world won’t bring them happiness. There will always be something missing from their lives because they don’t bother to look past their own masks and facades.

Meanwhile, they’re damaging the psyches of millions of other people who’d have been better served by someone emphasizing their qualities instead of their flaws. But where’s the profit in that, I suppose.

Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands. Build Someone Up.

But wait! Think about the last time you paid someone a compliment. How did they respond? Sure, a lot of people have trouble accepting a compliment, but even so, didn’t they light up just a little? The value of that moment can’t be measured in dollars and cents, but it also won’t end up in a landfill when it fails to change that person’s life for the better. They won’t have to look for the next thing that’s supposed to fix their brokenness.

Instead, they might just look in the mirror the next time they pass and see the beauty you pointed out to them instead of the flaws some marketing department invented to make them feel bad enough about themselves to spend money on a product they not only didn’t need, but which couldn’t deliver on the promises anyway.

The best part is, it costs nothing to give someone a compliment. When you give them freely, you’ll find they start coming back to you just as freely. People who are happy and feeling appreciated simply do not see flaws. They might see imperfections, but they’re what makes each one of us unique and special.

They’re Not Imperfections, They’re What Make You Unique

What are imperfections anyway? They’re nothing more than something different; something that doesn’t fit some arbitrary definition of beauty (and we know where most of those come from!). They’re something that makes you stand out a little or a lot. The shape of your mouth, the set of your eyes, where you have curves, or don’t. The things which are uniquely you.

I’ll leave you with a final question: Why would you want to look and act like everyone else? (ok, 2 final questions) Why would you want to hide the very things that make you special and unique?



Gratitude is the Universal Dream Generator

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for my perfectly imperfect self.
  2. I’m grateful for the choices I have to listen to people who tell me I’m ugly, or to give them the finger. Guess which one I choose?
  3. I’m grateful for friends who build each other up and never tear each other down.
  4. I’m grateful for my ability to look in the mirror and see only qualities now.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; joy, positivity, glorious imperfection, uniqueness, strength, choices, opportunities, healthy, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light


About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats, and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

July 22, 2014 Having a WTH moment

I don’t normally speak up on political issues but today, I actually raised my voice about two, only because people are prone to spreading misleading and incomplete information about both.  My reward for suggesting that there was more to the issue than this graphic might indicate, was to be de-friended!  After I picked my jaw up off of the floor, and my body too, after a nice, long bout of belly rumbling laughter, I knew I’d have to write about this today, but only after bringing in a few more facts and figures to help explain my position (not that I’m for or against, but that cutting military spending has further reaching implications than the anti-militarists want you to know).  Like any fanatic, they use facts and figures to “prove” their point, but the facts and figures they use are highly selective as they only want to prove their point, rather then educate people.

Always remember the golden rule: attack the post, not the poster.

Let me make it clear that I completely observed the rule “attack the post, not the poster” and, in fact, didn’t attack at all!  I merely pointed out that the graphic seriously oversimplified the issue, failing completely to recognize how many people are employed, either directly or indirectly by the military and military contractors.  I mentioned how deeply the communities with military installations (not to mention those which house a lot of military contractors!) depend on their business to stay alive. I cited the serious economic effects which the first space shuttle explosion caused in the city of Los Angeles when the program was temporarily halted, causing Rocketdyne, who manufactured the main engines, to lay off about 10,000 people.  Not only were businesses which were directly related affected, but so were things like restaurants, gas stations, car dealerships and grocery stores as their sales declined severely while people had no jobs!  That isn’t even taking into account the impact on the State from such large numbers on unemployment!

So let’s start with employment. According to the BLS, as of June 2013, there were over 1.4 million people employed as active duty military personnel.  In addition, according to, in 2012, the military employed over 800,000 civilians and over 775,000 civilian contractors.  That’s 2,975,000 people with jobs, give or take a few thousand.  Even if we figure an average of $20 an hour (which, given what I know about some of the civilian and contractor’s salaries may be low), that adds up to $123,760,000,000 per year including employee payroll taxes which go back into government coffers.  This means nearly 3 million people contributing to our economy.

And this doesn’t even consider all of the people working on projects for the government who are either indirect or billed with the project rather than as wages.  It also doesn’t take into account the reservists who only work part time unless they are deployed.

Then there’s the part of that 700 Million (though I won’t vouch for the accuracy of someone else’s number) which pays for “hard goods” like uniforms, toilet paper, office supplies and planes.  People are employed to take orders, fill orders, deliver, produce, manage and any number of other jobs related to producing and selling a product.  More dollars into our economy and tax rolls!  Again, I’m not even taking into account the money these companies and their employees will also spend for gas, food, housing, other essentials and maybe a few luxuries.

The trickle down effect seems endless!

Try taking all of those wages out of the economy and see what happens!  Believe me, the $178 billion this short-sighted individual professes will eliminate poverty simply wouldn’t happen.  And what’s worse, the number would be a great deal higher with so many people out of work!

Let me share a few more facts with you.  When my son-in-law returned from Afghanistan, he searched for two years for a full-time, decent paying job.  Meanwhile, he took courses in college and attended some specialized training which would, supposedly, qualify him for a job as an EMT.  The best he was able to do was a part time, $10 an hour job at Petco!  Trust me on this one; he was the rule, NOT the exception!  He ultimately made the decision (and put in a great deal of legwork) to return to active duty military where he’d not only have a full-time job to support he and his wife, but would be able to pick a career path which he’d have been unable to afford to study as a civilian.

They offer careers and the training to go with them in a multitude of disciplines.  Here are just the top level categories:
Administrative occupations
Combat Specialty occupations
Construction occupations
Electronic and Electrical Equipment Repair occupations
Engineering, Science, and Technical occupations
Health Care occupations
Human Resource Development occupations
Media and Public Affairs occupations
Protective Service occupations
Support Service occupations
Transportation and Material Handling occupations
Vehicle and Machinery Mechanic occupations
Machine Operator and Production occupations

The Army trains and employs veterinarians while both Army and Navy train and employ doctors, nurses, dentists and other medical personnel.  There is also training and employment for all different kinds of engineers and scientists, much less just about any other career you can think of.  How many of the people who enlist could even afford the education?  Sure, they commit a certain number of years of their life to serving our country in exchange, but they come out with a marketable skill and no student loans (and don’t even get me started on the status of some of that black hole!)

Cities and even entire counties depend on the revenue generated by the presence of military personnel.

But what about economic impact to individual areas?  Take, for example, the proposed closure of Moody AFB in Georgia.  Here is what the local Chamber of Commerce says about how much the base contributes to the local economy and what would happen should the base be closed.

To summarize the article, the base contributes about $450 million to the local economy, helps attract business and a whopping thirty percent of local business is directly related to the military base.  The local Chamber predicts that the real estate market would collapse should the base be closed, and countless other businesses would have to close their doors as well.  Granted, this only affects about 100,000 people in the City of Valdosta and county of Lowndes,  Other areas like San Diego, California, Norfolk, Virginia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Bremerton, Washington (just to name a few) would likely see a much bigger impact and a significantly larger addition to the poverty numbers.

If nothing else, we need to do our own research, check the facts and understand the issues before we allow our emotions to make us look foolish.

All I’m really trying to say is that there are a lot of people out there who use real facts and figures to get us fired up over an issue without giving us any indication of where those facts and figures really came from. Just as many of us check Snopes before forwarding emails and posts about something scary or dangerous, let’s check the facts and figures which are provided to us by “reputable” sources too. Aren’t there enough people out there who are hating each other for no good reason already?

Let’s be the ones who add to the love and harmony rather than the hate and anger in the world!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I live in a place where diverse opinions can be expressed.
2. I am grateful that most of my friends and associates are open minded and actually want to hear both sides of an issue.
3. I am grateful for almost infinite sources of information which we may compare and contrast to determine what we will and will not believe.
4. I am grateful for a mind that thinks.
5. I am grateful for a forum in which to air my views, and allow for the airing of differing viewpoints (as long as the golden rule is applied!)

Love and light

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